Rabbi Fishel's Blog - Chabad of Naples
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Hosting Israel’s ambassador

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Dear Friends, 

Oh, what a night! Over 300 people attended our event featuring Israel’s permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Danny Danon.

The feedback from this event has been simply amazing!  Not only did those in attendance at the cocktail party enjoy the fine Chabad hospitality offered, they also had an opportunity to meet with Ambassador Danon on a personal level. He related to everyone with warmth and friendliness, answering questions with intelligence and honesty.

The same feeling prevailed when he spoke to the larger crowd that had assembled to hear him speak.  After explaining his role at the UN, he delivered honest opinions about its effectiveness in today’s world and made suggestions for improvements. Because of his familiarity with Israels’s government, and the fact that he has served in so many high-level  governmental positions, Danon was able to handle all the questions he was asked following his address. Tyler Korn ably led the question and answer portion of the program.  

Our gratitude to the many sponsors who enabled this event, to the dignitaries who honored us with their presence, all those in attendance,  and to the volunteers who facilitated an efficient program. It was truly a great honor to host Israel’s ambassador to the UN in our very own Naples synagogue. May Hashem Bless  Israel. Shield it beneath His wings of kindness and spread over it His canopy of peace.

Click here for pictures of the event.

With love and blessings,

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos

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"The honeymoon is over"

"The honeymoon is over" - how often have we had that anticlimactic sensation when the excitement and romance of an event have passed, and we are faced with the daily nitty gritty and often, at first glance, monotonous incidents in life.

So it is in the Torah: after the thrilling pomp and circumstance of the revelation at Mount Sinai, we settle in to the often tedious, day-to-day events. The reality of life is, we are not always surrounded by a brass band and a party-like atmosphere. We may have our time under the chuppah to dream and marvel at the promise of true and everlasting love only to wake up to the eye-opening reality of “ Who left the cap off the toothpaste” and living in close quarters with another individual and perhaps realizing how little we really know about his or her personality or character. That’s when we set the honeymoon aside as a lovely memory and get down to the joyous laws for daily life.

Judaism is about how we live each day. It’s not just our actions in coming to a synagogue and how we act there, it’s how we live daily. Most people have the capacity to spend a few hours weekly ‘walking the walk and talking the talk’, but how do they behave the rest of the time? It may surprise you to know that Judaism was never meant to be centered around the synagogue, it is a guide to how we behave at home, how we treat our spouse, family and friends, how we treat the poor and how we seek justice in all areas.

This is why immediately following the honeymoon at Mount Sinai, we needed to address our daily lives with Mitzvot, because this is where the magic happens.

Oh we do need the synagogue, trust me on this, along with and in addition to our daily behavior, because it gives us inspiration and empowers us to carry through with our resolutions. We hear from so many people who attend that joining us on Shabbat and throughout the year boosts them to living life at the fullest. We are never alone, surrounded by extended family with similar goals and feelings for Israel.

As we meet with Ambassador Danny Danon this Sunday, February 26th, we show our support for Israel, built by people who sacrifice on a daily basis so that all of us have a homeland. Part of ‘walking the walk’ is offering our daily strength and support for events like this.

With love and blessings,

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos

Incredible community leaders

Beside every Chabad Rabbi there's a very special Chabad Rebbetzin. That's what this weekend is all about!

What special days these are, when Dad becomes a stay-at-home Mom! I get to spend valuable time with Yitzi and Mendel while Ettie, Chaya and Hinda freeze in New York with thousands of other Jewish women and their daughters at the international Chabad Women’s conference conference for incredible community leaders. They will attend five days of workshops and lectures, and the convention coincides with the yahrzeit anniversary of the passing of the Rebbitzin Chaya Mushka, wife of the Rebbe. The Rebbitzin embodied the highest values of love and concern for others in a most dignified and brilliant way. She shared the honor, responsibilities, and privilege of leading the worldwide Chabad with the Rebbe

The cardiologist Dr. Ira Weiss, who attended to the Rebbe and the Rebbistzin in their later years, related how the Rebbe once said to him, “The few moments each day that I spend over a cup of tea with my wife are as important to me as the daily mitzvah of putting on tefilin….”

He always recognized that their life was a team effort, and this is what you see here in Naples. Ettie and I are proud to serve as Rabbi and Rebbitzin. It's more than amazing how Ettie has partnered with me to provide this community with incredible accomplishments, and manages to juggle a million issues in the air – all at once – and is somehow able to stay on top of every detail with such remarkable wisdom, calm and poise. This is a day and a time we honor and recognize the Rebbiztin and all that she does.

 

 

Have you spend any quality time appreciating your loved one lately? Try it — it can have amazing results!

 

Less woe and more positivity

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Dear Friends,

Tomorrow is known as Tu B’Shevat, the New Year for Trees. We humans can also celebrate along with the trees.

“Man is a tree of the field,” the Torah says, We are nurtured by deep roots, as far back as Abraham and Sarah; we reach upwards to the heavens while standing firmly on the ground; and when we do all this right, we produce fruits that benefit the world-namely, our good deeds.

And like a tree, we are here not only for ourselves, but to provide shade, fruit and respite to the many around us.   

In the Torah reading this week, the Jewish people finally leave Egypt. After witnessing miraculous things, they climb out of the other side of the sea and then start to complain: "What are we going to eat? What are we going to drink?" They had just personally experienced incredible miracles but it didn’t seem to be enough and they couldn't find happiness.
We cannot condemn the Jews of that generation for how they felt, but it says they were bitter and disgruntled. 
 

Have you ever heard of the Missing Tile Syndrome? That’s a condition that exists when you always feel something is missing from your life, regardless of how well everything is going. You look at a ceiling where one single tile is missing, and that’s where you concentrate. You may have all kinds of wonderful things happening to you, but you can't look at life without finding something bitter: the missing tile syndrome. Or as someone said you can look at everything as a miracle or nothing as a miracle. 

On the other hand, when you are joyous it's contagious and that’s how one good deed gives birth to another good deed.

With less woe and more positivity, especially now more than ever, don’t ask “What will be?” say “What can I do to be kinder and appreciate how blessed we are with what we have."

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos 

 
 

Time is of the essence

Time is of the essence”; "Time and tide wait for no man”; “The two greatest warriors are time and patience”.  We have heard most of the famous quotes about time, but have we ever really taken them to heart?

Time is the greatest commodity we have in life and it was actually our first commandment as the Jewish people were leaving Egypt. Be conscious and aware of your time.

I like to focus on the number 168, as it represents the number of hours in a week.  Depending on your age, that can seem Like very few or a lot of hours - but regardless of who you are, you cannot change the number.

When you consider the hours you spend sleeping, the number or waking, productive hours shrinks. We were commanded to keep our time holy:  it is so precious, it must be spent wisely.

The young always seem to want to accelerate time in order to realize their dreams and ambitions, while the elderly would like nothing better than to slow it down, to preserve and enjoy life and all that it offers.

Whatever your age, time is a gift and it’s up to us to utilize it well.

Sunday many of us will have eyes glued to the screen as once again it’s Super Bowl Sunday! 

Whether you are a fan or not, remember the lesson of Super Bowl XLIV  in 2015:  seize the moment and make the most of it.  That year, victory was imminent and all the Seattle Seahawks needed was one successful play from the 1-yard line.  Their season ended on a bitter note as they failed to succeed. 

Life places defining moments and challenges before us.  How will you handle them?  Seize the day and live each moment fully!

 

 

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